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Authorities shut down incomplete drug tunnel at Mexican border

This news story was published on April 5, 2014.
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The tunnel

The tunnel

NOGALES, Ariz. — U.S. and Mexican authorities shut down an incomplete drug smuggling tunnel Friday afternoon, following a multi-agency investigation by the Nogales Tunnel Task Force, which is led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Members of the task force developed information earlier this week that a drug smuggling tunnel was being constructed inside a residence located in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, just a few yards south of the international border fence near the Mariposa Port of Entry.

Working with their HSI counterparts in Hermosillo, Mexico, task force members notified Mexican authorities of the suspected tunnel. Mexican Secretaria de Defensa National (SEDENA) officials subsequently discovered the tunnel entrance in a backyard shed at the residence.

The tunnel is approximately 449 feet long, with approximately 60 feet in Mexico and 389 feet in the U.S. The tunnel is roughly four feet tall and ends underneath a canyon just east of the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. The tunnel was incomplete and did not have a U.S. exit.

No people or drugs were found inside the passageway and no arrests have yet been made in the case, which remains under investigation by the Nogales Tunnel Task Force.

A total of 101 cross-border tunnels have been discovered in Nogales since 1990, including four in fiscal year 2014.

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